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Dear Friends,

I wish to tread on a topic that has aggravated our country with such passion, so much so that both camps have been spewing hate and pointing others in blame. It feels like being at elementary school again.

When I was first entitled to vote at the age of 18, I voted with my worldly view of “fairness” in my shortsighted and gullible mindset. Remember when we as a nation voted for Mr Blair, especially the majority of Scotland. Well, you get my point. You can also understand why charismatic politicians can play on their charm and down-to-earth approach. It appeals to us, as we think we are being listened to, and we feel we can relate with them. Politicians like everyone else (yes, you and me) have a personal agenda. Therefore, it is our duty as born-again believers to be selfless and pray for our leaders for Godly wisdom to lead our nation through thick and thin. If you think your opinions and decisions are best for a nation, then get yourself into politics and make a selfless positive difference. It’s too easy to shove flyers down someone’s throat and endorse billboard’s of your local MP on your back yard, but it takes time to make a difference across this land and cultivate change.

With regards to politics, these days I am more interested in foreign policies and financing. I have noticed as of late, especially with my observation toward the US Presidential Elections, I am looking beyond the lines of the obvious. I have a favoured person, not so much on appearance and party labels, but based on the policies beyond the obvious. At the end of the day, America have to decide from two controversial figures to run the country, and whoever wins will have direct access to all political leaders around the world at the touch of a phonecall.

Anyhow, I wish to talk more about the real meat regarding the EU.

Reflections on the EU

Did you vote with a cross at the EU Referendum? I’m sure there were some folk who drew blood in the shape of a cross on their voting form and brought the form along and sealed it with a mobile laminator.

I voted last week using my postal vote, and yes I voted with a black pen, but only because I was instructed to do so on my voting guide.

This is the second historic referendum that I have experienced in my lifetime to date and I am the prime target demographic of my generation, as I am labelled as a millennial. Firstly, there was the William Wallace Referendum back in 2014. And last week on Thursday was our EU Referendum, where the whole of the UK voted whether we (as a UNITED KINGDOM) belonged to the EU or to break away from EU rule.

When I voted for the Scottish Referendum, I didn’t vote with my heart, nor did I vote with any real emotion or selfish reasons. I just valued the fact that we were better as Scotland, as part of the rest of the United Kingdom. Overall, we (as SCOTLAND) voted democratically against becoming an independent country by 55% to 45%.

I have my reasons, and no, I didn’t feel as if I was brainwashed with the scaremongering campaign, nor do I hate the south of the borders for historical reasons. I think before I speak, therefore, I take time to arrive at a conclusion. As I have shared in the past, my swinging and very decisive vote was to support a “nation” who stands beside Israel. Nothing more.

Interestingly, the value of oil has dipped around the world and Scotland has since received new powers. The problem these days is that the Scottish Government should really start using these new powers effectively and start serving its people in this country. Much like a charity who use and inherit old and donated equipment to get the job done.

I am aware of some respected Scottish businessmen who chime with my personal opinion, and to be honest, business people tend to get things done better than politicians. Why do you think businesses prosper in wealth, and politicians want businesses to endorse such candidates or party?

The main thing that stuck with me is why should I vote for an independent Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, only to get in the same bed as Europe as a member of the State. And yes, it sounds like a modern-day marriage affair. Besides, real independence is doing everything by yourselves without holding hands with an external State or beneficiary party (much like self-governing countries like American or Canada, etc). Its like a student who chooses to live “independently” away from home to study their undergraduate degree, yet still visits Mum and Dad and sponges off free food, rent, broadband and clean laundry.

Being theologically Baptist, I do not believe we should be associated with the State, and I am cautious of the notion of freewill. After all, freewill for Adam and Eve resulted in eternity death for humankind. However, eternal death *is* conquered through the life, death and the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ.

I know of other Baptists who voted differently, which ironically goes against the grains of Baptist ideology, but most people vote for their personal gain. Yes, we are human. It’s only natural, but sometimes, I strive to seek the LORD first before choosing to serve myself. It is downright hard to surrender yourself daily, because the flesh is attracted to anything except God, much like the opposite ends of a magnet.

Anyhow, who I am to question. I know of vocal folk from both sides of the camp, and yes, I still call them brothers and sisters in Christ.

However, the EU Referendum for me was different because there was more of a global consequence. There is so much hype and tripe from both parties, it was hard to sift through the blatant obvious to the fantastical opinions to genuine liberations on the Remain or Leave camps.

Again, I didn’t vote with my heart, nor did I vote with any real emotion, but I did change my stance from a Remainer to a Leaver, which I have shared in this blog previously.

Of course, before casting my vote I wasted my 2-weeks of sabbatical to read about the debate. I strive to read a wide range of news outlets (those with a centre-left and centre-right stance), blogs, and opinions from “experts” in the field, politicians and wannabe-know-it-all figureheads of the public. I have browsed through various independent sources to gain a better understanding of the facts and figures, and as usual, politics is as clear as mud. And I’m not liberal enough to accept a celebrity endorsement as gospel. After all, they are either politically endorsed by a particular party, or they have a personal agenda.

Curiously, the facts are the stuff that don’t get reported in the mainstream media, because there is a fear to publish the truth to a mass target audience. Such media outlets tend to promote themselves as “non-biased” but they tend to come across as popular and appealing to a select generation of viewers, because they need to sell shows and licensing rights to other countries in order to stay afloat. It’s that generation who are today’s consumers. And the so-called “non-biased” media outlets, they obviously have a political agenda and leaning too. People will NEVER have a silenced opinion of daily events. We are of course human!

I also take a keen interest in the world of finance and business views the media and the press, partly because I am trying to learn from these two areas for this Kingdom-focus vision.

I have previously stated my reasons for and against in another blog post, which I won’t repeat myself here.

I will however mention one other reason, outside from what I have shared before. It’s the bureaucrats whom I never voted for. I know diddly-squat of the senior leadership team, commissions or council team, who actually make up the EU system. And folk are up in arms about an “unfair” democratic vote in some parts of this country. The same can be said of a reversed result. I guess it’s “undemocratic” that one is hurt by the end result. C’est la vie! And no, I am not gloating about the result, nor was I jubilant in celebration, because I know we are now moving into a new phase of biblical revelation.

Behind the Mainstream Concerns

What I do want to sensitively observe is the interesting trajectory of the world and the economic crisis across continents. The folk who seem to profit from such events are politicians, businesses and those in the finance sector.

As a fellow born-again believer, you do know that the LORD Jesus Christ is due to return. Well, for that to happen, such events have to take place. How can Scripture be fulfilled if we prevent such events from happening?

We are spiritually blind from the obvious, yet we still choose to look after ourselves and associate ourselves to a rotten world, and it seems that we are inclined to support social liberalism these days. And it’s the latter part that is challenging to witness the Good News due to our society and culture of political correctness and persecution. I personally don’t support such liberal causes, but I will choose to read about it and I often wrestle with such social issues with the LORD. Whether you prefer to label yourself to a particular nationality or gender is not the question, but rather your identity in Christ? I think the LORD’s return is a pressing issue. Besides, you can’t take your national identity or worldly reputation with you to Heaven.

I am intrigued about the global politics and the interesting influence from the RCC (another State who seems to influence much in politics, especially towards world leaders). On the surface, they can be portrayed as a messenger of peace, or is it a sign of a false prophet dressed in sheep’s clothing. And it’s interesting that liberals seem to favour the current pope with his views.

Let me take a step back first. I remember a good while back when JP2 was nearing his reign, that a prominent prosperity preacher “prophesied” that the next pope would be a supporter of Israel, but not the next pope after him. Feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but overall, I am not a fan of the RCC as a whole, nor do I cherish their worldly sayings, much like I don’t cherish the saying of pastors or dead preachers. If there are any Words that I want to cherish, it’s the Words of Scripture.

Returning back to the political realm, I am intrigued at Mr Putin’s never-ending reign and his interest in the UK and the US, especially in recent months. I am sure you have read of the publicised reports of R’s fighter jets crossing our borders of both the UK and the US, both nations whom are known to stand by Israel. And curiously, neither country seem to get along with R either. Those who reject our stance are often the young millennial liberals who think they know best and the demographic groups who flock to the West, as a result of our secularisation.

I am most intrigued by the “sympathetic” hearts who want to be associated with a One Rule economy governed by Germany, a nation whom allies fought hard to break apart, because they wanted to dominate Europe and conquer the world. It’s amazing how history repeats itself. If you genuinely want to be sympathetic to such demographic groups, open your doors to the poor, feed them and give what you have. I personally can’t because I do not own my own home, never mind have the finance to invest in a significant other. And even if and when I have a significant other and both of us are working, will I have the heart to open doors a person 24/7 outside raising my own family? At the time of writing, no is my answer.

It is also troubling that British Law accommodates elements of Sharia Law, another example of uprooting our protestant Christian heritage to be “sympathetic” to such cultures. It’s not sympathetic, it’s simply pathetic. And it is concerning that State churches including the CoE endorse support of such laws. Meanwhile, north of the borders, there was much hype a few years back when the CoS wanted to reinvent the ordination of marriage, especially those ordained in positions of pastoral leadership. It is also interesting that State churches have a worldly influence within local or national governments. Again, the same can be said toward the RCC and their historical abuse towards minors. It is why I have issues with organised religion governed by men, when at the end of the day, it is down to my faith in the LORD Jesus Christ that secures my salvation.

Even the poorest city in Scotland hosts the biggest competing house of worship, a place that I once visited as part of a school trip, a school trip that my Mum abhorred due to her devout Christian faith in the LORD. In the end, Mum allowed me to go and in a way, I am thankful to have witnessed a weird concept of unity. A so-called house of worship that is so divided inside and so structured that I still recall my memories of the traditions, rules and rooms.

I am concerned at the secularisation of today’s West, a topic I learned during seminary and how such “prejudice” groups that do come over to Western countries can populate themselves quicker, because their religion allows them to have multiple wives. Meanwhile, born-again believers are shunned for believing in a “traditional” marriage between one bloke and one gal. I still remember we said the LORD’s Prayer before class during elementary, but these days, there is more focus on “diversity” and “equality” because the world is afraid of the truth of Christ.

I am also very intrigued that the main EU building is “inspired” by a historically biblical structure that I found interesting as a kid, when I picked up a free print from an Epson printer at PC World many moons ago. It was of course, a photo print-out of The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563). I was also fascinated to learn that the Tower of Babel was featured in one of my favourite computer games of all time Civilisation III.

It is interesting that we are hearing more sermons related to the End Times, yet we as Christians seem to shrug our shoulders and mis-interpret the voice of God and the warnings that is recorded in Scripture.

When will we pick our heads from the sands of dune like an ostrich, and rise up like an eagle? Why do we shirk with fear of change, yet we reluctantly ask the LORD to mould us to be more Christ-like? And yet, stepping out in faith in a committed relationship with Jesus Christ as our LORD and Saviour was the best decision of our lives.

Our true independence is found in Christ. If we truly want to be independent, sometimes we need to step out in faith. But how can we be faithful and true, when our hearts demand the securities and wealth of other gods and idols that surround our path?

~Richard